Brexit news latest – UK demands 'control of our laws and waters' as fears loom that talks will go on until December 31

BORIS Johnson's office today warned that "we cannot accept a deal that doesn’t leave us in control of our own laws or waters.”

Without a "substantial shift" from the EU, talks could go on until December 31.

It is believed that there could be a decision made before Christmas on whether or not a deal can be reached.

A government source told the BBC: "We cannot accept a deal that doesn't leave us in control of our own laws or waters.

"We're continuing to try every possible path to an agreement, but without a substantial shift from the [European] Commission we will be leaving on WTO terms on 31 December."

The EU source said Brussels was not seeking to take control away from the UK over its waters.

"The point is what the EU can do, under the agreement, if the UK does not give access.

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  • Claudia Aoraha

    EU HAS 'UNREASONABLE DEMANDS'

    Britain insisted on Sunday that the European Union should shift position to open the way for a breakthrough in post-Brexit trade talks, with health minister Matt Hancock saying the bloc should drop its "unreasonable demands".

    With less than two weeks before Britain leaves the EU, both sides are calling on the other to move to secure a deal and safeguard almost a trillion dollars worth of trade from tariffs and quotas.

    Talks to reach a trade deal have been largely hamstrung over two issues – the bloc's fishing rights in British waters and creating a so-called level playing field providing fair competition rules for both sides.

    Hancock again referred to what Britain has described as new demands introduced by the EU earlier this month, saying they were "unreasonable" and should be dropped.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    THE PATH TO A DEAL IS ABOUT TO PETER OUT, SAYS DIPLOMAT

    A European diplomat told AFP that Brussels had made its best offer and it was down to Prime Minister Boris Johnson – now distracted by a worsening coronavirus crisis at home – to decide whether he wants a deal.

    "It could well continue over Christmas, now the UK is still making up its mind whether it is willing to pay the price for unprecedented access to the internal market," he said

    "The EU has been clear this weekend that it is willing to compromise on fish. But it will bail at putting EU fishermen structurally out of business," he told AFP.

    "The narrow path to a deal has now become a single goat track, about to peter out."

  • Claudia Aoraha

    WE NEED TO CONTROL OUR WATERS, SAYS BORIS

    Boris Johnson's office said today that the EU is continuing to make demands that are incompatible with our independence: "We cannot accept a deal that doesn't leave us in control of our own laws or waters."

    Britain's rights to rule its waves was an essential part of what drove Brexiteers to victory in the 2016 referendum.

    Johnson is seeking to make sure that as much as possible of the shared British waters are now returned to UK vessels only.

    The EU has always maintained that those waters have been shared for decades, if not centuries, and insists if too many fishing rights are taken away, it will punish Britain by imposing hefty import fees to the mainland market, which is essential to the UK seafood industry.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    BELGIUM BANS ALL FIGHTS AND TRAINS FROM THE UK

    Belgium has joined the Netherlands in banning flights from the UK and also banned rail connections in an attempt to make sure that a new strain of coronavirus does not spill over on its territory.

    Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo on Sunday said he was issuing the order for 24 hours starting at midnight out of precaution.

    There are many questions about this new mutation and if it is not already on the mainland, he said. He hoped to have more clarity as of Tuesday.

    The Netherlands is banning flights from the UK for at least the rest of the year.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    TALKS TO CONTINUE TODAY

    The European Union must make a "substantial shift" if Brexit trade talks are to be saved.

    That was the warning from Britain in the final days of negotiations between the two sides ahead of the transition period ending on 31 December.

    Talks are continuing in Brussels today, but UK sources say it is increasingly likely that an agreement will not be reached in time.

  • Claudia Aoraha

    CANCEL BREXIT, SAYS FORMER MINISTER

    Former advisor to Tony Blair and minister under Gordon Brown, Andrew Adonis, has called for Brexit to be cancelled.

    The Labour party politician tweeted: "We should now be cancelling Brexit."

  • Claudia Aoraha

    HOW TO GET READY FOR HOLIDAYS AFTER BREXIT

    • Check how long is left on your passport
    • Take out travel insurance
    • Check how much it will cost to use your phone in the EU
    • Get an international driving permit

    'WE'RE ABSOLUTELY READY FOR IT' SAYS HANCOCK

    Speaking about the ongoing Brexit talks, the Health Secretary said that Britain would be absolutely ready for a no-trade deal with the EU.

    Matt Hancock said on Sky News this morning: "We're ready for an Australian style deal if that's the case.

    "It's not what I'd like to see, but we're absolutely ready for it."

    ALMOST EVERY TRUCKER 'NOT READY FOR BREXIT'

    Nearly every trucker in Britain is unprepared for Brexit and has no idea how to negotiate new border rules, a poll says.

    The survey of hauliers reveals 96 per cent “are not ready” for January 1 — with one in four believing they have already lost business.

    It comes as lorry tailbacks build up near UK ports. The M20 has seen queues several miles long waiting to get to Dover in Kent as firms bring in goods at Christmas and stockpile for Brexit.

    Import and export specialists reckon 50,000 more customs clearance staff will be needed at points of entry to help meet future demand.

    • Claudia Aoraha

      NO DEAL BEFORE XMAS?

      Britain has threatened to pull the plug on Brexit trade talks this week – and walk away without a deal.

      A source close to the negotiations said last night: “One way or another, it’ll all be over by Christmas.”

      Officials claimed the Brussels team was still “struggling” to budge an inch over key sticking points, with just 11 days until the transition period ends.

      Both teams are still slugging it out every day in the hope of finding a breakthrough after nine years of tense talks.

    • Brittany Vonow

      'SHOCKWAVES'

      Businesses fear a failure to agree a deal on goods trade would send shockwaves through financial markets, hurt European economies, snarl borders and disrupt supply chains.

      "This third shutdown comes at the worst possible time, as businesses face close of year challenges as well as uncertainty and upheaval from the Brexit transition period which ends in just 12 days' time – with still no deal agreed", said Mike Hawes, chief executive of Britain's car industry body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

      The British Retail Consortium added that the consequences of the new restrictions will be severe and that the government will need to offer additional financial support to businesses.

    • Brittany Vonow

      'KICK IN THE TEETH'

      Business groups expressed concerns over Britain's new COVID-19 restrictions, with the Confederation of British Industry calling them a "real kick in the teeth" for many businesses.

      Matthew Fell, the CBI's chief UK policy director, told Reuters in an emailed statement that the move would hit businesses which were already struggling badly, and the government needed to take a "fresh look" at how to support UK businesses through to the spring.

      UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Saturday that London and southeast England will be placed in a new Tier 4 level of lockdown. Non-essential retail will close, as will indoor leisure and entertainment.

      The new restrictions add to uncertainties faced by British businesses amid the possibility of a no-deal Brexit with less than two weeks left before Britain leaves the European Union's orbit.

    • Hana Carter

      WHY CAN’T THE TWO SIDES AGREE?

      The PM says it’s no deal unless the EU’s position significantly changes on fishing.

      Brussels, which originally suggested a ten-year transition for the UK getting back full control of its fish stocks, have dropped that to eight years.

      But Brit negotiators suggest three years.

      And the EU wants to exempt more than £680billion it spends subsidising industries on the Continent while demanding the right to punish Britain for similar state aid spending.

      A source told The Sun: “What they’re asking us to sign is bordering on offensive.”

    • Hana Carter

      'SUBSTANTIAL SHIFT NEEDED'

      There will be no-post Brexit trade deal between the UK and the EU unless there is a "substantial shift" from Brussels.

      It is believed there is going to be a decision made before Christmas on whether or not a deal can be reached.

      A source close to the EU said: "Talks are stuck.

      "Not just fish. The UK has other demands and the level playing field is not sorted."

    • Hana Carter

      'DECISIONS NEED TO BE TAKEN'

      The PM has rejected an ultimatum from negotiator Michel Barnier that gave him just hours to accept a demand that would allow Brussels to impose trade tariffs on the UK if it does not allow EU countries to fish in British waters.

      The EU’s chief negotiator told MEPs yesterday that the time had come “when decisions need to be taken… in the few crucial hours that remain” to finish Brexit trade, fishing and security talks this weekend.

    • Hana Carter

      DUTCH FISHERMAN FEAR BREXIT COULD SINK THEIR TRADE

      Fishermen in the Dutch port of IJmuiden are bringing home the last catch of the year, but if Brexit talks fail it could be their last from British waters for years to come.

      As dock workers offload pallets of frozen fish from trawlers at the busy river mouth port just west of Amsterdam, a political storm is brewing that could sink their business.

      The highly-charged issue of fishing rights threatens to torpedo hopes of a trade deal when the UK leaves the EU single market on January 1. Without a deal the Dutch will be unable to ply the British waters they have been using for centuries.

      “Whether we will fish purely in European waters or British waters as well remains to be seen,” says Arnout Langerak, 47, director at the fifth-generation Cornelis Vrolijk fishing company.

      “Dutch people, Dutch fishermen have been fishing there for 400 years already or even longer. We would like to do that in the next 400 years,” he told AFP on Friday.

    • Hana Carter

      UK LORRY DRIVERS FACE BREXIT BAN ON HAM-AND-CHEESE SANDWICHES

      British lorry drivers crossing the Channel next year will face a new regulation that may be hard to swallow — a ban on ham-and-cheese sandwiches, the UK government has warned.

      The government gave the example of the popular sandwich filling in guidance for hauliers issued a warning that bringing into the European Union foods that contain meat or dairy, even for personal use, will be forbidden.

      The rule is intended to prevent the entry of foods that could spread diseases. It will apply not just to lorry drivers, but to everyone leaving Britain for the EU.

      This is one of the new rules that will enter force when Britain leaves the customs union and the EU single market at 11pm (midnight Brussels time) on December 31, after a transition period when old rules for imports and exports still applied.

      Failing to declare foods such as ham-and-cheese sandwiches and hand them over for disposal could lead to a fine or criminal prosecution, according to the European Union’s advice leaflet.

    • Hana Carter

      DOVER PORT CONFIDENT ABLE TO HANDLE BREXIT DISRUPTION

      Its chief executive Doug Bannister told the PA news agency: “Dover has a proven track record to handle disruption in a good, successful way, and we are able to manage the disruption and importantly recover the position very swiftly indeed.”

      Mr Bannister added that increased freight ahead of December 31 means the first weeks of 2021 could be calmer.

    • Hana Carter

      WHAT HAPPENS IF THERE’S NO TRADE DEAL?

      If there is no agreement by December 31, the UK will leave the single market and customs union and begin trading with the EU on World Trade Organisation terms.

      This will mean an imposition of tariffs and could potentially lead to higher prices in the shops.

      Yet, even with an agreement, there will be major changes at the border from January 1.

      It will lead to new customs checks and ong delays if businesses are not properly prepared for the new trading rules.

    • Hana Carter

      CHRISTMAS RUSH AND BREXIT UNCERTAINTY FUEL MILES-LONG LORRY QUEUES

      Festive stockpiling and Brexit uncertainty have again caused huge queues of lorries to stack up in Kent.

      A long line of HGVs stretched up to five miles on the M20 as freight drivers headed for the Eurotunnel.

      The latest delays came as the UK marked less than two weeks until 2021 and the end of the Brexit transition period.

      Businesses, in a bid to avoid cross-Channel disruption in January, are stockpiling goods before the new year, in addition to the usual Christmas rush.

      On Saturday morning the queue along the left-hand lane of the motorway started in the Ashford area and stretched several miles to the Eurotunnel entrance at Folkestone.

      There were also long lines of HGVs along the M20 between Capel-le-Ferne — the site of the Battle of Britain memorial on the White Cliffs — to the port of Dover.

    • Hana Carter

      FISHING RIGHTS THREATENED OVER NEGOTIATIONS

      Intense haggling Saturday over EU fishing rights in UK waters threatened to sink negotiations on a post-Brexit deal and plunge cross-Channel trade into chaos.

      Fishing is now the main obstacle to securing a pact by January 1, when Britain leaves the EU single market, after progress on the other main issue of guaranteeing fair competition.

      "It remains very blocked," one EU diplomat told AFP.

      Another said Brussels had made Britain its last offer on fishing access and it was down now to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to decide whether he wants a deal.

      "If Britain doesn't accept the latest EU offer it will be a 'no deal' over fish," he warned, adding that London has until the end of the year to decide.

    • Hana Carter

      PM WARNS NO DEAL IS ‘VERY LIKELY’

      Earlier this week, the PM warned a No Deal Brexit is now “very likely” unless the EU caves on fisheries.

      It’s the big issue that remains to be resolved, and time is running out.

      Boris Johnson had a phone call with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Thursday night.

      After the call ended, he said if a deal could not be struck the UK would leave the EU “as friends”, but trading on Australian-style terms.

      Here’s what you need to know.

       

    • Hana Carter

      BREXIT PARTY LEADER CALLS MASS TESTING PROGRAMME ‘UNRELIABLE’

      Defending the government’s new decision to place areas into a newer and stricter tier 4, the chairman of the Brexit Party said there is a ‘crisis of confidence’.

      Mr Tice, Chairman of the Brexit Party said: “The Prime Minister does not have an easy job, and these are very difficult decisions to take. He is understandably concerned by the new variant of Covid.

      “Millions of families will be devastated by the changes to the Christmas regulations. My heart goes out to all those who will not be able to spend time with their loved ones.

      “However, these is a crisis of confidence in the PCR tests which I have set out in a detailed letter to the Health Secretary. The mass-testing programme they are using is seriously unreliable. If we could trust the data these decisions would be easier to make and easier to accept.”

    • Hana Carter

      CONCERNS ABOUT THE UK’S ‘OVERALL STATE OF READINESS’

      A House of Commons Brexit Committee raised a series of concerns in a report published today.

      Committee chairman Hilary Benn said the Government still could not provide business, traders and citizens with “certainty” about what would happen.

      “With just seven working days until the end of the transition period, significant concerns remain,” he said.

      “At this late stage, the Government must be ready to implement contingency plans where necessary to mitigate the effects of any disruption.

      “Failure to do so would mean the worst possible start to the new year for many people and businesses who are already experiencing the toughest of times.”

    • Patrick Knox

      EU PARLIAMENT WANTS AGREEMENT BY SUNDAY

      They say this is needed so they can ratify any deal before the current Brexit transition period ends on December 31.

      However, it is thought EU leaders could provisionally sign off on a deal if the talks go on beyond that point, with formal ratification taking place in the new year.

      Meanwhile in the UK, MPs are on standby to return to Westminster from their Christmas break if an agreement can be struck in the final days of the year.

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